Communication between cells and their environment, including other cells, is often mediated by cell surface receptors. Fluorescence methodologies are among the most important techniques used to study receptors and their interactions, and in the past decade, fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) approaches have been increasingly utilized. In this overview, we illustrate how diverse FFS approaches have been used to elucidate important aspects of receptor systems, including interactions of receptors with their ligands and receptor oligomerization and clustering. We also describe the most popular methods used to introduce fluorescent moieties into the biological systems. Finally, specific attention will be given to cell maintenance and transfection strategies especially as related to microscopy studies.
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